George and Laura Lie to Larry King

From Holden:

The Bushes were on Larry King Live last night. What follows is a partial list of the whoppers told by the Midland Misleaders side by side with the truth.

On the seven minutes spent reading My Pet Goat:

G. BUSH: Well, I had just been told by Andrew Card that America was under attack. And I was collecting my thoughts. And I was sitting with a bunch of young kids, and I made the decision there that we would let this part of the program finish, and then I would calmly stand up and thank the teacher and thank the children and go take care of business.

And I think what’s important is how I reacted when I realized America was under attack. It didn’t take me long to figure out we were at war. It didn’t take me long to develop a plan that we would go after Al Qaeda. We went into action very quickly.


G. BUSH: What is relevant is whether or not I understand and understood then the stakes. And I recognized that we were at war. And I made a determination that we would do everything we could to bring those killers to justice and to protect the American people. That is my most solemn duty.

What really happend (Link):

After Card told Bush about the second plane and quickly left, the classroom was silent for about 30 seconds or so. [Tampa Tribune, 9/1/02] The children were about to take turns reading from a story called The Pet Goat. [AFP, 9/7/02] Bush picked up the book and began to read with the children. [Tampa Tribune, 9/1/02] In unison, the children read out loud, “The – Pet – Goat. A – girl – got – a – pet – goat. But – the – goat – did – some – things – that – made – the – girl’s – dad – mad.” Bush mostly listened, but occasionally asked the children a few questions to encourage them. [Washington Times, 10/7/02] At one point he said, “Really good readers, whew! … These must be sixth-graders!” [Time, 9/12/01]


When Bush finally did leave, he didn’t act like a man in a hurry. In fact, he was described as “openly stretching out the moment.” [Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism – From Inside the Bush White House, by Bill Sammon, 10/02, p. 89] When the lesson was over, Bush said to the children: “Hoo! These are great readers. Very impressive! Thank you all so much for showing me your reading skills. I bet they practice too. Don’t you? Reading more than they watch TV? Anybody do that? Read more than you watch TV? [Hands go up] Oh that’s great! Very good. Very important to practice! Thanks for having me. Very impressed.” [Transcribed from Booker video, Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism – From Inside the Bush White House, by Bill Sammon, 10/02, pp. 89-90] Bush still continued to talk, advising the children to stay in school and be good citizens. [Tampa Tribune, 9/1/02, St. Petersburg Times, 9/8/02 (B)] One student asked Bush a question, and he gave a quick response on his education policy. [New York Post, 9/12/02]

On Bush’s oposition to the Sep. 11 Commission:

KING: You first were opposed to the 9/11 Commission and then changed. Why?

G. BUSH: Not really.

KING: You weren’t opposed?

G. BUSH: Well, I just wanted to make sure that it was done the right way. I felt like that — one of my concerns was that it would usurp the Congress’ need to fully investigate.

Then I recognized this was a good avenue — a good venue and a good way to really get out the facts. And they did a really good job.

What really happend (Link):

Q Should the American people conclude there were some intelligence lapses before September 11th? And can you please explain why you oppose a commission to look into the matter, and why you won’t release the August 6th memo?

And quickly to you, sir, do you think there should be regime change in Iraq?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, first of all, I’ve got great confidence in our CIA and FBI. I know what’s taken place since the attacks on September the 11th. Our communications between the two agencies is much better than ever before. We’ve got a much better — doing a much better job of sharing intelligence.

I, of course, want the Congress to take a look at what took place prior to September the 11th. But since it deals with such sensitive information, in my judgment, it’s best for the ongoing war against terror that the investigation be done in the intelligence committee. There are committees set up with both Republicans and Democrats who understand the obligations of upholding our secrets and our sources and methods of collecting intelligence. And therefore, I think it’s the best place for Congress to take a good look at the events leading up to September the 11th.

On giving Gen. Tommy Franks everything he asked for:

And I said to him: General Franks, do you have everything you need? Are you satisfied with the plan? And do you have all you need? And he looked at me and said: Yes, sir, Mr. President.


And the reason I tell you that story is that Tommy, General Franks, now Tommy, knew me well enough to be able to walk right into the Oval Office and say: Mr. President, we don’t have what we need. We need of this or that.

What Franks says: (Link):

The U.S. general who routed Saddam Hussein’s army in three weeks warned before the invasion that a quick victory could lead to a “catastrophic success” because the United States was not prepared for postwar anarchy in Iraq.

“We will have to stand up a new Iraqi army and create a constabulary that includes a representative tribal, religious and ethnic mix,” retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks writes in a new autobiography recounting the tense days before the war. “It will take time.”

President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld agreed, but Franks did not get the “open checkbook” he needed to put Saddam’s soldiers on the new Iraqi government’s payroll.

“I would continue to argue that there could be no security without civic action,” Franks writes in “American Soldier.” “Penny wise will surely be pound foolish, I thought. We will spend dollars today . . . or blood tomorrow.”

On the “Mission Accomplished” banner and speech aboard the USS Lincoln:

KING: So is that what led you to say on that ship that the battle is over?

G. BUSH: No, I didn’t say that. Now, let’s be careful about that.

I went on that aircraft carrier to thank a crew.

KING: The sign said it, I think.

G. BUSH: No, the sign said, “Mission accomplished.” It didn’t say the battle was over. It said, “Mission accomplished.” And I was talking to sailors and a pilot who had been on an extended tour — I think, maybe the longest in a long period of time. They were both — this carrier was both in Afghanistan and in Iraq.


KING: Was the sign a mistake?

G. BUSH: People make a big deal out of it. It was not a mistake to go to the carrier.

And there was certainly no intention to say that this was over; quite the contrary.

What Bush himself said on the ship (Link):

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

On stem cell research and the number of lines available for research:

L. BUSH: I have been speaking out, because there’s not a ban on stem cell research. And that seems to be the buzzword now that you would read in the press. And the fact is, the president is the one who — is the only person who’s authorized any research on embryonic stem cell, and several countries have a complete ban on embryonic stem cell research.


G. BUSH: Well, here’s the decision I made. As Laura said, there had been no federal dollars given to embryonic stem cell research. I decided that there were existing lines which could provide promising potential discovery. As a matter of fact, there’s 22 active lines now which has led to over a couple of hundred projects being explored off those lines.

What Bush himself said after banning federal funding for stem cell research involving new genetic lines (Link):

Embryonic stem cell research offers both great promise and great peril. So I have decided we must proceed with great care. As a result of private research, more than 60 genetically diverse stem cell lines already exist [This statement was a lie, as Bush admitted last night when he cited 22 lines.]. They were created from embryos that have already been destroyed, and they have the ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research. I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines where the life and death decision has already been made.

And when Laura says that her hubby was “the only person who’s authorized any research on embryonic stem cell” it’s because the issue was never raised before his presidency (Link):

In 1999 and 2000, researchers began to find that manipulation of adult mouse tissues could sometimes yield previously unsuspected cell types; for example, that some bone marrow cells could be turned into nerve or liver cells and that stem cells found in the brain appear to be able to form other kinds of cells.